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I decided to bite the bullet and get a professionally made forge from Atlas tools. Its one of those that people either hate or love, though most of the reviews I've read have people really liking the simple design and ease of use. I don't really do big blades, mostly hunting and bushcraft, so this is perfect for me. I know I could probably build on for about the same price, but I'd rather have someone build my first one lol. Maybe someday if I ever enlarge my shop I'll grab a propane bottle and upgrade, but for now this will do for me.

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I watched a lot of videos before I got it. Because of its small chamber it heats up very quick. The specifications are:

Plicast LWI 24 cast refractory

stainless steel body

adjustable tool rest

Chamber measures 2.5″ diameter × 11″
2” rear opening
Max temp of 2500° F
630+ BTU per cubic inch

0-20 PSI regulator w/hose connects to 20lb. propane tanks

Atlas stainless steel 30k BTU burner

 

I am thinking about coating the Plicast with ITC-100HT to reflect even more IR, but I don't know if I'll really need to.

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Finally had a chance to get a bottle of propane and test it out. It's a pretty windy day, but the forge was glowing in five minutes. I tried a piece of 1/8 inch 1084 and it was scale-popping hot in two minutes...then I upped it with an old rr spike. The head went from stone cold to glowing in three minutes! Definitely a step above my coffee can forge lol.

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